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New staff hired to lead BEACON Project

February 27, 2012

Huntington, W.Va. - Mountwest Community & Technical College recently hired three new staff members to help carry out the goals of the BEACON Project, the institution's new student success initiative funded through a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.   

Luanne Rase Bowman will serve as the project manager for the BEACON grant. In this capacity, she will plan, direct and provide oversight for implementation of the entire project. Bowman holds a Master of Business Administration from West Virginia University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Marshall University. Bowman has more 11 years of higher education experience. Her past work experience includes vice president for financial and administrative affairs at Rio Grande Community College (Ohio); adjunct faculty for Marshall University and the University of Rio Grande; and finance and administrative manager at the Clay Center for the Arts and Sciences. Throughout her career, she has managed and administered federal grants, student services and finances for various companies and institutions.

Other new additions to the team are student success coordinators Veella Grooms and Glen Midkiff.

Veella Grooms obtained her bachelor’s degree in counseling from Marshall University and her master’s degree in education from the University of Pittsburgh. Grooms comes to Mountwest with more than 15 years of experience in helping people achieve their education and career goals. She will be providing academic, career and personal counseling to students, implementing student retention efforts, teaching student success courses and coordinating services for the E-Z Start program.

Glen Midkiff is a Marshall University graduate, from which he holds a master’s degree in adult and technical education and a Regents of Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in counseling. Midkiff is currently working toward an education specialist degree at Marshall University. He has more than 12 years of experience in working in higher education from Michigan State University, University of Louisville, Marshall University and ITT Technical Institute. In his new role at Mountwest, he will be advising students from backpack to briefcase, to assist them with their academic paths. He will also be available to advise students on resume development, job interviews, internships and job searches.

“Adding these individuals to an already amazing Student Services team will help us to continue to provide the best service and guidance that we can for our students,” said Billie Brooks, dean of student services at Mountwest Community & Technical College. “We are increasing our students' chances of success and feel very fortunate to have these talented additions to our staff.”

Mountwest Community & Technical College provides programs to meet the varied educational and workforce development needs of its students and the community. Mountwest offers two-year degree and one-year certificate programs in Allied Health, Business and Information Technology, Human Services, Occupational and Technical Programs, as well as numerous continuing education opportunities and customized instruction. For more information about Mountwest programs and opportunities, please visit

Media Contact:
Shirley Dyer